During the Sukkos holiday, the Pico-Robertson neighborhood of Los Angeles erupts in joyful celebration. Our 40-plus kosher restaurants all have sukkos attached. There’s a sukkah on top of Ralph’s Supermarket. One could conceivably sukkah-hop to a different hut every five minutes and not exhaust the inventory. Google “Sukkah’s on Fire” to see my music video showcasing an assortment of local sukkos, accompanied by a wacky parody of the Jerry Lee Lewis “Great Balls” classic. The next video in the cue will likely be my brother Yom Tov’s enormous Jerusalem-based sukkah going up in flames. A well-placed security camera caught the tragic conflagration, and his kids mischievously added my song as a soundtrack.

My favorite comic strip of the season is Bart Simpson at the blackboard scrawling repeatedly, “I won’t count how many pages are left in the machzor (High Holiday prayer book).” Formal prayer is an acquired taste, and its acquisition is best achieved with frequency and familiarity. Hence the Jewish catch-22: Many Jews only show up to pray on the two days a year when the prayers are by far the most long-winded and daunting.

Videocast Featuring Leading Gedolim Garners Provides Unprecedented
Pre-Rosh Hashana Inspiration

“The Chofetz Chaim changed the briyah - He transformed the entire world! The entire agenda of Klal Yisrael changed because of him and today, on his yahrtzeit, it is the time for us to make a decision – the decision to follow in his ways.”

Gedolei Yisrael Welcome Participation as Daf HaYomi B’Halacha Marches Towards Dirshu World Siyum of Second Machzor of Mishnah Berurah

“It is not enough for a person to do mitzvos, he must LIVE Torah and mitzvos! How does one LIVE Torah? How does one make shemiras haTorah and shemiras hamitzvos the true chiyus of his life? By learning Mishnah Berurah daily. Daily learning of halacha elevates a person by teaching him to live every minute of every day with Hashem and His mitzvos. Through a small investment of time, he can elevate his life to a different plane!”

We should be happy to avoid the Tochachah.

Before bidding farewell, Moshe Rabbeinu delivers the Tochachah, a warning of all the horrific curses and tragedies that will befall the Jewish people should they fail in their religious responsibilities. It’s one harrowing, foreshadowed catastrophe after another – nearly 100 in all! No wonder we are so eager to rush through this leining as quickly and quietly as possible.